Darby O’Gill and the Little People

I remember watching this movie in elementary school, although I’m not sure why it was being shown.  What I do remember is that for my 9- or 10-year-old self, The Banshee was the scariest thing ever committed to celluloid.  I was recently reminded of this childhood terror and decided to see whether it was as bone-chilling as I remembered it:

The funny thing is, I distinctly recall the greenish Banshee having a scary death’s-head skull-like face; but it doesn’t.  Not in this clip, either.  And seeing it at a twenty-five-year remove, I’m more inclined to chuckle at the memory of how frightening it used to be, and to puzzle over why it was scary.

Now the frightening part is seeing Sean Connery playing an Irishman, and having some other fellow’s voice dubbed over what we can only assume is his undoubtedly atrocious singing.

But something good came of this cliché-ridden anachronism.  Legend has it that producer Albert R. Broccoli was having problems finding a suitable actor to portray James Bond for the series’ first film, Dr. No.  Complaining of the casting difficulties to his wife (actually his third wife) Dana Wilson, she recalled seeing an handsome young actor in Darby O’Gill and, supposedly, told her husband that “Sean Connery is the best-looking man I have ever seen.”

Category: Ars Gratia Artis, Diversions  Tags:
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